The aim of the project is to study of community assembly within a trait-based theoretical framework. Two theories are considered: habitat filtering and limiting similarity. Habitat filtering means that the species traits are filtered by habitat conditions (e.g. soil properties) and disturbance regime. Not only the occurrence of filtering will be tested, but also the range of trait values before and after filtering will be measured. According to the limiting similarity principle, co-existing species have to differ in traits related to regulating factors.
The parallel study of the effect of these two principles to community assembly is rare till now. It will need extensive survey of traits of species occurring in the studied communities and development of new statistical procedures.
The research will be done in two sites (one forest and one grassland site), where the main environmental gradients can be measured easily.